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Mom Tips: How To Relieve Headaches During Pregnancy

Mom Tips: How To Relieve Headaches During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time when a woman tends to undergo hormonal changes. Due to this hormonal changes, there are certain physical alterations that a pregnant mother bears. One of these is headaches during pregnancy. This headache is related/ similar to tension headache.

The trimesters

Having a headache during pregnancy is not abnormal. Out of the three stages, the first symptom of headaches start to appear during the first trimester. This happens due to the increase in blood flow and circulation, and the overflowing of hormones in the body. Cutting down on caffeine is also considered to be another factor. Meanwhile, the body of the mother is getting accustomed to the new changes that is taking place. Once the gushing of hormones and the blood flow settle down, which eventually does in the second trimester, the mother can relax a bit for those three months. The unfortunate part is, the headaches might come back in the third trimester. The reasons being:

  • The tension of the final outcome
  • Carrying extra weight that leads to bad posture
  • Lack of sleep
  • Low blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Sinus congestion

Want to know which headache you’re exactly suffering from and how to deal with it? Then you need to read these posts:
Tension Headache: Understanding Of The Most Common Headache

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Cluster Headaches: How To Deal With The Worst Headache

Sinus Headache: Symptoms, Causes And Natural Reliefs

How To Get Rid Of A Headache Without Medicine

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Migraine during pregnancy

Surprisingly, majority of the women who suffer from migraine said that this form of pain reduced dramatically than before. Migraine is a neurological disorder that triggers the pain severely. It is caused by hormonal fluctuation during menstruation. Out of 80 percent of female migraine sufferers, 58 percent said they have mild attacks of migraine, or those who are very lucky suffer no pain at all. Only a handful of females reported that they suffer from extreme migraine at least twice or thrice during the entire pregnancy period.

The reason for a reduction in migraine headaches during pregnancy is because the hormonal fluctuation settles down in the body during the pregnancy period.

What can be done to relieve headaches during pregnancy?

There is a limitation to medicine intake during pregnancy. Most of the drugs are prohibited, leaving only a few option to be considered. It is always advised to seek natural remedies to cure headaches. Some of the helpful tips are given below.

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  • Eat small amounts of healthy meals frequently. Do not stay hungry for a longer period of time.
  • Get adequate amount of rest, especially during the third trimester.
  • Apply cold/ hot compression on the head, neck and shoulders.
  • Go for a body massage.
  • Do exercises as shown by the doctor.
  • Take warm shower never possible.
  • Improve the bad posture to prevent further headache.
  • Take naps whenever possible, preferably in a dark room.
  • Try to go outside and breathe in fresh air.
  • Listen to music that will distract from all the anxieties.
  • Hydrate by drinking plenty of water, and fresh juices.
  • For severe cases, go for acupuncture and acupressure.

If the above natural remedies don’t work, the safest medication is acetaminophen (Tylenol). If the pain persists for few days, the doctor may prescribe beta-blockers. Beta blockers are used to control blood pressure, are safe for pregnant mothers, and can reduce severe headaches.

What else to avoid

There are some food, drink and medications that are recommended in order to avoid headaches during pregnancy. Food like:

  • Chocolates
  • Food containing artificial sweeteners
  • Too much sweets
  • Old cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Sour cream
  • Peanuts
  • processed meat
  • Smoked salmon

Drinks such as:

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  • Alcohol
  • Can juices containing preservatives
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Coffee

Medications:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin

Headaches during pregnancy are usually nothing serious. They will come and go, a mother just needs to be cautious and can easily prevent them from coming. It just needs a little persistence, some well balanced lifestyle, eating habits, good posture, and plenty of positivity and happy thoughts. These headaches are preventable. But whatever a pregnant mother does, always ask the practitioner before doing anything.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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